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Diary: Christ on a motorbike – Jesus died for less

The audience member attacking the actor playing a Roman soldier
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Tabard knows some audience members find it hard to separate actors from the roles they play. There have been countless times soap stars, for example, report being on the end of abuse purely because their viewers can’t get their heads around the fact they’re playing a part.

But Tabard was aghast to hear of an incident in Nova Hartz in south Brazil, where a biblical play was being staged at Easter, to mark the crucifixion of Christ. Just as the production reached its climax, a spectator stormed on to the stage and started to attack one of the actors playing a Roman, claiming he would not allow Jesus to be put to death.

William da Silva, the city’s planning director, said more than 1,000 people were in the town square watching and that no one could believe what was happening. He said: “The man leaped up from the audience and no one guessed what he was about to do. Witnesses reported the attacker was shouting he was ‘not going to let Jesus die’ before he barged on stage.”

The actor playing Jesus remained calm and in character

The deranged man is seen on video footage hitting the Roman around the head with a motorcycle helmet – and it looks rather painful, Tabard has to confess. Fellow cast members rushed to restrain the man, while the actor playing Jesus apparently remained calm and in character. Tabard suspects there was not much more he could do, attached as he was to a cross. Still, what a pro.

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk